Welcome! Umami Girl is your guide to a life well-lived. We are a recipe and lifestyle site for curious, thoughtful people who seek to make every day a little special (even during challenging times), and we’re all about sharing easy ways to make that happen.
About your host
I’m Carolyn Gratzer Cope, the founder and publisher of Umami Girl.
In 2008, after a decade of trying on careers from healthcare consulting to corporate law, I found my home at Umami Girl. I’ve been sharing conversations about the things that matter most — family, food, home, and adventure — right here with you ever since.
Five fun facts
- I went to cooking school at the French Culinary Institute in NYC (now the International Culinary Center), but most of what I know about food and cooking comes from having grown up in a food-loving Italian-American home. I’ve been obsessed with cooking since I can remember.
- I have a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, and I LOVE vegetables, but I also really love meat.
- I live in a small seaside town in Monmouth County, NJ with my husband Cope, two amazing daughters Adelaide and Celia, and two cats Mel and Chino. For a few years when the girls were little, we lived in London and traveled a ton. I LOVE to travel and have a lot to say about how to make it work solo, with kids, and more.
- I sing a lot. If you like classical music, have a listen here.
- I have an undergrad degree in politics from Princeton University and a law degree from Columbia Law School. These days I mostly amortize the cost of my law degree by talking at my kids about social justice allll the time.
About Umami Girl
Umami Girl began in 2008, the early days of food blogging. Right after transitioning out of corporate law, I volunteered to help coordinate local deliveries from a community supported farm via my garage in Hoboken, NJ.
Back then, the blog was a way to share stories, but also to help the other farmshare members figure out what to do with the weird-wonderful fruits and vegetables they were receiving every week. Recipes always came with personal stories, cultural commentary, and excitement about the great people and things we were coming across in the world.
That’s why Umami Girl eventually built a bigger house — one with dedicated spaces for family and life (from wellness to music, books, and culture, to careers), food, home (from interiors and gardening to low-key DIY), and adventure (vacations, local haunts, and more). We’ll be growing into all those spaces with you in the days to come, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
What is umami?
From the culinary perspective, umami is a savoriness that makes a recipe greater than the sum of its parts. It’s the fifth taste (bitter salty, sour, sweet, and umami). It has a Japanese name because its existence as a separate element of taste was discovered in Japan.
Back in 2008, I named this site Umami Girl because when I learned about umami, I suddenly understood what all the foods I’d always loved most had in common.
Foods with high umami levels include:
You can learn more here.
How to use this site
Your top 10 favorite recipes
Readers are especially loving these 10 recipes right now. You might, too.
- Homemade Shake Shack Burgers
- An Even Better Spicy Mayo Recipe for Sushi and Beyond
- Easy Ground Pork Tacos with Black Beans
- Basmati Rice Pilaf
- Easy Side Dish: The Best Sautéed Mushrooms Recipe
- Spinach Tortellini Soup: An Easy Tortellini Soup Recipe
- Easy Vegetarian Ramen with Rich, Savory Broth
- Best Lobster Roll Recipe: How to Make a Lobster Roll
- Cilantro Sauce Recipe for Tacos, Nachos, and More
- The Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
As seen on
Carolyn and Umami Girl have been featured in many media outlets over the years, including:
I’d love to hear from you
Have a recipe question, a travel tip, a product recommendation, or just an interest in saying hello? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at [email protected]!
Umami Girl partners with brands on a case-by-case basis when we find a good fit. We’d be happy to hear what you have in mind or to brainstorm great ideas for content together. Feel free to request our media kit.